Page:English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the nineteenth century.djvu/518

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ENGLISH CARICATURISTS.

bined with his undoubted genius, renders him unquestionably one of the most versatile of modern designers. His satire is something quite apart from his caricature, and the former is characterized by a strong dramatic element particularly noticeable in serious illustrations, such as his designs to "The Pythagorean," in the second volume of "Once a Week." In caricature he resumes in a measure the manner of the older caricaturists, without retaining a trace of their vulgarity, and a good example will be found in his cartoon of What Nicholas heard in the Shell (1854), in which the features and salient points of the figure are intensely overdrawn. His caricature pure and simple seems to us always inferior to his satirical power; as fine examples of the latter we may mention: The British Lion Smells a Rat (an angry lion sniffing at a door, in allusion to the conference which followed the fall of Sebastopol); The British Lion's Vengeance on the Bengal Tiger, which chronicles the ghastly massacre of Cawnpore; Bright the Peace Maker (1860), in which Punch testifies his indignation at the manner in which Mr. Bright endeavoured to create a popular feeling against the House of Lords; Poland's Chain Shot (1863), a stirring and powerful composition, wherein Poland, gallantly struggling once more for freedom, breaks her chains and fiercely rams them into a cannon; Humble Pie at the Foreign Office (1863), and Teucer Assailed by Hector is Protected by the Shield of Ajax (1864), in which Lord John Russell is the subject of satire; and The False Start and Out of the Race (the same year), in the first of which Palmerston endeavours to restrain the leaning of Gladstone towards democracy, the last showing the result of his inattention to the starter's warning. In all these and a host of other admirable satires, the superior art training of Mr. Tenniel is seconded by his strong dramatic power, and above all by his unquestionable genius. It would be a poor compliment to him to deny that he had his failings—which indeed of the admirable satirists who preceded him had not? His failings, when they do occur, are perhaps more noticeable on account of his style and the mode in which he frequently drapes his figures. We have heard it objected to him, for instance, that the beauty of his female figures is